And the truth is the oppressed have become the oppressors.
And the Palestinians are the natural allies to Israel and only when JUSTICE is rendered and that means full human rights, can there be security and peace for all.
Religious Leaders' Statement on Christian Zionism
"We Stand for Justice. We Can Do No Other"
JERUSALEM, AUG. 30, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is "The Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism" released Aug. 22. The statement was written by Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah of Jerusalem and other local heads of Churches in Jerusalem.
"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God." (Matthew 5:9)
Christian Zionism is a modern theological and political movement that embraces the most extreme ideological positions of Zionism, thereby becoming detrimental to a just peace within Palestine and Israel.
The Christian Zionist program provides a worldview where the Gospel is identified with the ideology of empire, colonialism and militarism. In its extreme form, it laces an emphasis on apocalyptic events leading to the end of history rather than living Christ's love and justice today.
We categorically reject Christian Zionist doctrines as false teaching that corrupts the biblical message of love, justice and reconciliation.
We further reject the contemporary alliance of Christian Zionist leaders and organizations with elements in the governments of Israel and the United States that are presently imposing their unilateral preemptive borders and domination over Palestine.
This inevitably leads to unending cycles of violence that undermine the security of all peoples of the Middle East and the rest of the world.
We reject the teachings of Christian Zionism that facilitate and support these policies as they advance racial exclusivity and perpetual war rather than the gospel of universal love, redemption and reconciliation taught by Jesus Christ.
Rather than condemn the world to the doom of Armageddon we call upon everyone to liberate themselves from the ideologies of militarism and occupation. Instead, let them pursue the healing of the nations!
We call upon Christians in Churches on every continent to pray for the Palestinian and Israeli people, both of whom are suffering as victims of occupation and militarism. These discriminative actions are turning Palestine into impoverished ghettos surrounded by exclusive Israeli settlements.
The establishment of the illegal settlements and the construction of the Separation Wall on confiscated Palestinian land undermine the viability of a Palestinian state as well as peace and security in the entire region.
We call upon all Churches that remain silent, to break their silence and speak for reconciliation with justice in the Holy Land.
Therefore, we commit ourselves to the following principles as an alternative way:
We affirm that all people are created in the image of God. In turn they are called to honor the dignity of every human being and to respect their inalienable rights.
We affirm that Israelis and Palestinians are capable of living together within peace, justice and security.
We affirm that Palestinians are one people, both Muslim and Christian. We reject all attempts to subvert and fragment their unity.
We call upon all people to reject the narrow world view of Christian Zionism and other ideologies that privilege one people at the expense of others.
We are committed to non-violent resistance as the most effective means to end the illegal occupation in order to attain a just and lasting peace.
With urgency we warn that Christian Zionism and its alliances are justifying colonization, apartheid and empire-building.
[as I've said, "McCorporatists, not Jesus, are the SOLE sponsors and beneficiaries of the McFaith of MegaChurches" QED /jks]
God demands that justice be done. No enduring peace, security or reconciliation is possible without the foundation of justice. The demands of justice will not disappear. The struggle for justice must be pursued diligently and persistently but without violence.
"What does the Lord require of you: To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)
This is where we take our stand. We stand for justice. We can do no other. Justice alone guarantees a peace that will lead to reconciliation with a life of security and prosperity for all the peoples of our land. By standing on the side of justice, we open ourselves to the work of peace -- and working for peace makes us children of God.
"God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation." (2 Corinthians 5:19)
Patriarch Michel Sabbah
Latin Patriarchate, Jerusalem
Archbishop Swerios Malki Mourad,
Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem
Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal,
Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East
Bishop Munib Younan,
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
Get your Rapture hats ready, kiddies! The sky is falling, and our wise gift of nuclear winter will propel us all into the loving arms of the all-knowing and all-everywhere G-d.
And the truth is the oppressed have become the oppressors.
"The problem is NOT with Christianity,
"The problem is too few have actually done it!"-GK Chesterton.
The Western concept of Jesus as promoted in the Left Behind series is a false God and these mis-informed, misguided Christians are a cult- I hope the good Rev will read two articles on oped regarding the politically driven Christian zionism that pursues a god of Armageddon:
The Spirit of the Antichrist
The Cult of the Antichrist
Did the Rev read "The Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism" released Aug. 22 which is posted above and articulates the dangers and HERESY of Christian Zionism?
I also invite the Rev to NOT look at all of this as an 'attack' on Christianity, for The Prince of Peace has been misused for too long by right wingers seeking political power. THEY have taken my Lord, and I do NOT see him in their rhetoric or actions!
Also, JFK was a democrat, NOT a republican, and neither is Jesus!
Maybe the following excerpt from my just published book will enlighten the good Rev?
Quoting Fr. Matthew Fox, July 2005:
"Forget original sin; remember original blessing. There are two Christianities in our midst. One worships a punitive father and seeks obedience at all costs. It is patriarchal, demonizes woman, the earth, science, gays, lesbians, and deep thought. It builds on fear and it supports empire-builders. Its theology includes a punitive father in the sky and teaches original sin. The other Christianity recognizes the original blessing that all beings derive from. We recognize awe, not sin, not guilt, as the starting point of true religion. We recognize a divinity who is source of all things and is as much mother as father, as much female as male.
"We honor creation and diversity. When God created everything, He pronounced it all good. We are here to make love to life. Yes, we are here to make love to life. Delight in creation and take your dreams into our politics and institutions. We live in the midst of a suicidal economy, motivated by love of money. We have reached a dead end.
"What we need to turn it around are hearts in love with life. How do we do it? We first must move from domination to partnership, and we begin by educating our young in awe and wonder, not how to take tests. Awe leads to reverence, which leads to gratitude, which will reinvent our species. This is the task of our generation: to regain awe. The three Rs need to be balanced by the ten Cs: contemplation, creativity, chaos, compassion, courage, critical consciousness, community, celebration, ceremony, and character.
"In community, people remain united, despite everything that divides them. In capitalist society, people are isolated, separated, despite everything that should hold them together. We are in the midst of an epic struggle between community and capitalistic society. We need a new narrative. It is the economy of materialism; it is the virus of affluenza that has weakened family life."
|September 3, 2006 at 08:59:10 || |
by Rob Kall
See this page for links to articles on OpEdNEws that articulate both sides on the issues in the middle east. It is the goal of OpEdNews to air opinions from both sides to stretch the envelope of discussion and communication. Hate statements are not accepted. Discussions of issues and new ideas for solutions are encouraged. ."Bush and the Republicans have been Israel's best friend," an Orthodox Rabbi recently told me.
It seems that his words reflect the perceptions of a majority of Orthodox Jews and possibly a large number of Israelis.
It's simple, really. The Bush administration has been the most permissive, through it's policy of almost totally ignoring the middle east and middle east diplomacy. The ORthodox Jews and some Israelis read this as signs of being Israel's best friend. I disagree, but I'll get back to this in a few paragraphs.
First, I want to explore a phenonmenon that Orthodox Jews and Israelis are not aware of-- rapture Christianity. Tens of millions of fundamentalist Christians are fervently praying for the "rapture" to arrive, as soon as possible.
The "rapture" is a scenario that these fundamentalists believe is predicted by the bible. It is preached about routinely, promised by ministers. When the rapture occurs, people who have "taken Jesus into their heart" will be instantly whisked up to heaven "in Jesus' arms." They'll simply disappear from the earth-- both the living and the dead-- to find themselves in heaven.
These tens of millions of "rapturists" believe that, for the rapture to occur, other biblically predicted events must occur. There must be great turmoil and conflict in the middle east, and then, once the turmoil and conflict reach the worst levels, the "antichrist" will come.
The new phenomenon of Christian Zionism is based upon these rapture beliefs. The strong support that evangelical fundamentalists give to Israel is based on these beliefs.
Let's spell it out clearly. For the rapture to occur, Israel must be engulfed in war, massive, violent, hellfire and damnation war, with huge losses of life. This is the vision the rapturists are praying for, that they yearn for. When the rapture occurs, and Jesus "raptures" the people to heaven, hundreds of thousands of Jews will die and the rest of the people on the planet will be "left behind."
There is a "LEFT BEHIND" book series with movies already made. Over 50 million books have been sold. This is a huge phenomenon. Bush's support for Israel, the Republican party's support for Israel are based upon rapturism.
There was a Twilight Zone story, by Rod Serling, that told of a visit to earth by aliens from another planet who had a book, titled, To SERVE MAN. Earthling, learning of the book, warmly welcomed the aliens. THousands of earthlings accepted the aliens' invitation to travel to their planet. Then, a translator discovered-- TO SERVE MAN was a cook book.
The Bush, Republican and Christian Right's support of Israel is just as predatory, equally malignant in intention.
Could it be worse? Yes. Let's look at the last disaster-- Israel's failed Lebanon adventure. This was done with the permission and, at the least, tacit encouragement of the Bush administration. Now that it's over, it's clear that the winners were Hezbollah and Iran. But Bush also won.
The Bush administration used Israel like a stick, poking the Israeli stick deep into the Iranian hornets' nest, stirring up anger, hate and most useful to Bush, the drumbeats of war among the media.
The prospects for war with Iran are seeming more and more likely. This may be attractive to the most macho warhawks. But most people, including Israelis I've spoken to, believe that any war with Iran will produce massive casualties in Israel-- because Iran will lash out at any attack by bombing Israel, not with small katyusha rockets, but with major missiles aimed at major cities. Casualties will be in the tens or hundreds of thousands.
When Bush and his rightwing Republican and Democrat rubber stampers in congress initiate an attack on Iran, Israel will truly find out what kind of a friend Bush has been. I fear the insight will come at a terrible price.
Let's tackle the Bush administration's "friendship" with Israel from another perspective. It's generally agreed that Bush has left Israel alone to do as it wanted in dealing with its neighbors, giving Israeli a longer leash, more freedom than any other administration in US history.
The USA has been Israel's "patron." But that word is too weak to describe the support the US has provided for Israel. Without the US, Israel could not function as it has. Not only does the US provide Israel with billions in dollars, it provides untold billions in additional military supplies and intelligence.
I see the relationship as a "parental" one. The US has so much power over Israel, over it's survival, that it controls, in too many ways, who is in power and the decisions Israel makes. A parent does not allow his children to do anything they want. A parent does not ingore bad behavior. A parent intervenes when his child gets in trouble or hurts others. Failure to intervene, to guide the child over whom the parent has so much influence, is a egregious failure in responsible functioning in the relationship.
If you don't like the "parent" relationship, try partner. A partner who invests as much as the US does in Israel has a responsibility to guide its malfunctioning partner.
Since Bush became president, you only have to look at the number of terrorist attacks, the number of people in Israel and among Israel's neighbors, to see that Israel's decisions have been poor ones.
A good ally, particularly one with as much power and influence as the US has over Israel, functions the way previous presidents have dealt with Israel, with tough love, requiring serious efforts at peace-making and greater restraint in dealing with neighbors.
The Bush administration has been a cheap, shallow friend of Israel, using Israel, like the Twilight Zone aliens with the cookbook, to engage its strongest base, the Christian right, throught their cravings to attain the rapture. This is not a fantasy, not science fiction. It is a bizarre, macabre reality that every Jew and every Israeli should be heavily factoring into the "friend of Israel" equation.
Pounding harder on the middle east war drums, attacking Iran is not the answer. Iraq was an already beaten, de-clawed, emasculated country when Bush waged his "war" with "mission accomplished." We've seen how well planned and successful that effort was. Yes, Saddam was taken out, only to be replaced by something far worse-- the loss of THE balancing factor in the middle east, which kept Iran at bay.
An attack on Iran, with a much larger population, with years of preparation and a much stronger military will not be nearly as easy. Even if the US succeeds in doing to Iran what it did to Iraq, destroying communications, airforce and breaking up ground forces, the response from Iran will be incredibly more destructive, starting with Israel. Sure, the US will be able to pull a "soutnern Lebanon" on Iran, destroying much of the infrastructure of Iran. But in the process it will lose much more of what is left of any good will it has left in the Arab and Muslim worlds. It will further unify more hundreds of millions of Muslims against the US. It will build hatred for the US and Israel and the Jews even more, just as Ohmert's failed Lebanese adventure has done. (And replacing Ohmert with more hawkish Bibi Netanyahu will only make matters worse.)
A good friend of Israel will help Israel find peace, stability and will help turn neighbors who are enemies into trading partners with synergistic interests that build peace and good relations. You won't see that coming from the right wing in the US. Supporting Bush and his right wing supporters is almost a guarantee that Israel will face more death, in the next two years than it has seen in its lifetime. Supporting Bush and his right wing war supporters may feel like a way to help Israel. But Israel has gotten itself into deep trouble and greater danger than ever before with the help of Bush and his "cookbook" Christian right supporters.
It's time for the true "friends of Israel" the Jews who love Israel and want what is best for Israel, to get off their war horses and start supporting leaders who work closely with Israel and its neighbors in efforts that make Israel safer and the Jews less hated not more hated.
The steroid version of support for Israel-- low brain, no diplomacy, high conflict-- has not worked the past six years. Things are worse. More people are dying. Under democratic leadership Israel was better off. Diplomacy requires the US to lean on Israel, but more important, to lean on the Saudis and other Arab partners, which, let's face it, Bush has done a terrible job at. The Dems are friends of Israel, but not as friendly with the oil Arabs. You don't see Dems hobnobbing and hugging emirs, princes, sheiks and kings, like Bush does. It will be much easier for the Dems to play hardball with supposedly friendly Arab nations that have consistently sabotaged peace efforts relating to Israel.
note: The rapture/messiah story is not just one embraced by Christian fundamentalists. Some Muslims and Jews also embrace similar apocalyptic narratives. It is reported that Ahmadinejad believes that he is playing a key role by intensifying the hostilities.
Rob Kall is executive editor and publisher of OpEdNews.com, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and organizer of several conferences, including StoryCon, the Summit Meeting on the Art, Science and Application of Story and The Winter Brain Meeting on neurofeedback, biofeedback, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology. He is a frequent Speaker on Politics, The art, science and power of story, Positive Psychology, Stress, Biofeedback and a wide range of subjects. See more of his articles here and, older ones, here.
Democracy In Action: Humboldt County CA Forced To Buy Electronic Voting Machines
Faced with a short list of options and an even shorter amount of time in which to exercise them, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors reluctantly voted Friday morning to move forward with Hart InterCivic touch-screen systems to meet federal mandates for disabled voters' access in the November election. The move carries a hefty price tag: "something under $804,000," county Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich told the board - a stark contrast with the anticipated $65,000 cost that would have accompanied the county's first choice, the low-tech Vote-PAD devices.
Face To Faith
American evangelicals are far more diverse than we think. And their politics are equally unpredictable
No Civil War In Iraq, Insists Bush - But Pentagon Differs
While 68 Iraqis have died in two days, Bush talks up military success with an eye on the mid-term elections.
Rumsfeld's Dance With The Nazis
What made Mr. Rumsfeld's speech noteworthy wasn't its toxic effort to impugn the patriotism of administration critics by conflating dissent on Iraq with cut-and-run surrender and incipient treason. That's old news. No, what made Mr. Rumsfeld's performance special was the preview it offered of the ambitious propaganda campaign planned between now and Election Day. An on-the-ropes White House plans to stop at nothing when rewriting its record of defeat (not to be confused with defeatism) in a war that has now lasted longer than America's fight against the actual Nazis in World War II.
The Day After The Election: Today We Man The Barricades, Tomorrow We Change The World
The Sunday Washington Post has a front page story about the possibility of major Democratic gains with control of the House and the Senate both within striking distance. The story also points out the huge and unprecedented barrage of negative attacks that will soon be launched. There are two points that rise to the top. First, the Republican government has lost so much credibility and trust that they are reduced to only one last tactic: trying to drive Democrats to even lower popularity than they have. We have got to man the barricades and get the message out everywhere we can.
Israel is a little infection planted where it doesn't belong. Should the entire world be penalised for that? Lance it.
Put the world to rights. It is easy. Just do it.